Normal mapping is used to transform a low poly model into appearing like a high poly model by using textures. This technique can also replicate lighting techniques as to further imply a high poly count. Take these two models as an example; the figure on the right is more detailed than the figure on the left, this is because a normal map has been added to the figure on the right.
Contrastingly from normal mapping, a displacement map will alter the geometry of a model. This tends to create models with a high poly count. Both of the models below have been altered geometrically by displacement maps.
Bump mapping is the texturing of a model in order to make the surface seem different. In this image, you can see that the model appears to be bumpy, the ridges of the brick being apparent.
Today, I was using normal mapping in order to falsely imply detail onto a texture file. I started off by modelling a simple crate in order to refine my techniques, as per usual with most of the models I make, the model took to a twisted Victorian vibe.
This was the page I was shown for quite some time.
I have batch rendered animations that took less time than it did for this. Despite this glacial torture, I did end up with this:
The trunk on the left consists of 988 tris, while the trunk on the right consists of 116 tris. The trunk on the right has been fitted with a normal map of the more detailed model. They look about the same, don’t they?
This is how the two trunks look the same.
This swanky image here is what Maya seeks to define faces and angles, the darker and lighter colours refer to changes in size and depth while the pieces of the image that are lilac represent where nothing is needed to be done.
To get this normal mapping right, it took me four attempts. As per usual with this course, I was going wrong by doing something overwhelmingly minute: Moving the detailed model to the same place as the low detail model so that the normal map knows exactly what to seek for reference. (Sarcasm at it’s most bitter right there folks.)